Like all vitamins, B12 is an organic compound and essential for normal metabolic function. In fact, it plays several roles for your metabolism.
“Health is a state of body. Wellness is a state of being.” ~J. Stanford
Like all vitamins, B12 is an organic compound and essential for normal metabolic function. In fact, it plays several roles for your metabolism. And while we often relate metabolism with scale weight, your metabolism actually makes up every part of your being. It is a term used to describe all chemical reactions within your body to maintain the living state of your cells. An intimate link exists between your metabolism and your brain – one that is often overlooked.
What is Vitamin B12?
Vitamin B12 is best known for its role in red blood cell production. Anemia is a result when there is a deficiency. A deficiency may also result in mental symptoms than can look “psychiatric” as vitamin B12 also supports myelin which allows your nerve impulses to conduct. If you are deficient, you may suffer from anxiety, depression, and catatonia. A deficiency may also drive chronic illness such as autoimmune disease, neurological disorders, and language problems.
Vitamin B12 Benefits
A recent study published in the Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition states that vitamin B12 plays a huge role in protecting mitochondrial function and neurotransmitter signaling. A growing body of evidence proves that regular consumption of B12 can prevent the onset of mood disorders and suicidal behaviors in vulnerable individuals. It may also augment the therapeutic effect of prescription antidepressants.
Vitamin B12 may also:
- help prevent chronic disease (heart disease, stroke, cancer, and Alzheimer’s)
- reduce cholesterol levels and blood pressure
- boost energy levels
- help metabolize proteins
- digest food easier
- promote healthy skin, hair, and nails
Vitamin B12 Dosage
According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the recommended dietary amounts (RDAs) of vitamin B12 in micrograms per day include:
- Ages 0 to 6 months: 0.4 mcg.
- Ages 7 to 12 months: 0.5 mcg.
- Ages 1 to 3 years: 0.9 mcg.
- Ages 4 to 8 years: 1.2 mcg.
- Ages 9 to 13 years: 1.8 mcg.
- Ages 14 and older: 2.4 mcg.
- Pregnant women: 2.6 mcg.
- Breastfeeding women: 2.8 mcg.
Those with vitamin B12 deficiency will need more than the RDA. Taken by mouth, 125 to 2,000 micrograms can be taken daily. Those with anemia should take 2 to 10 micrograms daily while adding folic acid and/or iron. For better mental performance, 10 to 50 micrograms can be taken for one month.
Side Effects of Vitamin B12
For most adults, vitamin B12 is safe. However, you should consult with your physician before taking B12 if you have a genetic condition called “optic atrophy” or a bone disease called “polycythemia.” Also, talk with your doctor before taking B12 if you have an ongoing infection, low iron and/or folate levels, or blood in your urine.
As with all supplementation, you may want to consult with your physician before taking. If you are on prescription medication or have any major illnesses, please check with your doctor first.